If the Tigers stick within a handful of games under .500, I would expect them to still be sellers at next month's non-waiver Trade Deadline, especially if the Indians pull away in the division race by then.Detroit signed Francisco Liriano and Mike Fiers in part for their potential trade return
If the Tigers stick within a handful of games under .500, I would expect them to still be sellers at next month's non-waiver Trade Deadline, especially if the Indians pull away in the division race by then.
Detroit signed Francisco Liriano and Mike Fiers in part for their potential trade return if they have rebound seasons, so expect them to be available. Jose Iglesias will be available ahead of free agency this offseason. The demand for bullpen help should make Shane Greene a rumored commodity for contending teams, especially with a couple more years before free agency. The bigger question will be younger guys like Michael Fulmer and Nicholas Castellanos, and the answer probably depends on the return package they might draw.
That would make the Tigers' situation slightly more complicated. For one, Detroit would likely be playing better baseball, closer to .500 or maybe above it in that scenario. Then, the perception issue kicks in. I'd still expect the Tigers to listen to interest on Liriano and Fiers, maybe Leonys Martin as well. But with younger players like Fulmer and Castellanos, Detroit might face a discussion on whether an overachieving season changes the projected timetable on the rebuilding process.
That will not happen. The Tigers aren't in position to give up prospects.
Every indication at this point is that the Tigers intend to hold onto Victor Reyes this season, as they have to do to keep the Rule 5 Draft pick for their organization next year. After starting the season in a 3-for-31 skid, he's 6-for-15 since May 26 with a double, two triples, four RBIs and three stolen bases. Small sample size, but it at least suggests Reyes is making progress.
Jordan Zimmermann is on track to rejoin the Tigers' rotation next weekend in Chicago, which would likely bump Artie Lewicki. Liriano is scheduled to throw a simulated game Tuesday, then likely a rehab start, so there's still some time before Detroit faces that decision. Blaine Hardy has looked much better than expected as a starter, though he struggled last week in Boston, and the Tigers desperately need a left-hander like Hardy in what is currently an all-righty bullpen.
Franklin Perez is still working his way back from the lat strain he suffered in Spring Training, though he's at least throwing now. Jose King is expected to begin his season shortly with Class A Connecticut in the short-season New York-Penn League. Wilkel Hernandez has been pitching in extended spring camp in Florida, and should likely go to Connecticut or the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League this summer.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.